What is Sustainable Gardening?
For centuries, we have been developing a deeper understanding of our world and with the help of environmental sciences and agricultural researchers, better methods that enrich our planet are being discovered. Today, many commercial growers and home gardeners are turning to organic practices or sustainable gardening.
Sustainable gardening is choosing a technique that heals and improves the environment. Applications do not necessarily have to be 100 percent organic but even partial changes are beneficial. Gentle-earth-loving methods like controlling weeds, amending the soil as simple as using recycled kitchen waste, creates a healthier earth, food, and beautiful landscapes for future generations.
Sustainable gardening works well in many topographical areas, including urban landscape development, farming, and agriculture. Whether you are a grower, landscaper or a backyard gardener, the goal is the same: To practice energy-saving methods and earth-friendly techniques that meet the ever-changing global climate. Sustainable gardening methods include:
- Minimize water usage
- Reduce fertilizers and pesticides
- Eliminate landfill waste through composting
- Increase productivity while saving labor and time
Landscape architect Owen Dell, author of Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies describes sustainable landscape as a way to:
- Cut costs
- Protect against wildfires
- Benefit nature and mankind
- Create beauty, food, and habitats
To view some of Dell’s sustainable landscapes go to www.owendell.com/Projects/index.html.
Furthermore, when Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) established a pilot program for LEED* certification in June 2010, SITES defined sustainable as:
. . . design, construction, operations and maintenance practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by attempting to: protect, restore and enhance the ability of landscapes to provide ecosystem servicesthat benefit humans and other organisms.
In other words, sustainable gardening is a combined effort using organic methods and harmless-living practices for a healthier earth and cleaner heavens. Copyright © 2011 Dianne Marie Andre
*LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. For more information on LEED go to: www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19